On Monday, 7 December, , a high-profile launch ceremony was held in Mojave, California, in relation to a projected commercial space tourism flights venture under the name Virgin Galactic. As the main focus of the proceedings Sir Richard Branson, billionaire head of the Virgin group, unveiled SpaceShipTwo - the rocket plane which he hopes will carry fare-paying passengers into space after some eighteen months of further testing and performance trials. About 5 mins of weightlessness. At this altitude the curvature of the Earth is plainly visble and partakers of the Virgin Galactic space tourism flights will be able to view the Earth from suborbital space through the many portholes in SpaceShipTwo's cabin area. The craft's wings fold up 90 degrees and it becomes a glider, gently coasting back down to earth.
The billionaire space race has reached a new frontier after Sir Richard Branson announced plans to list Spaceship two richard branson virgin Galactic as a public company on the New York stock exchange. Push the envelope. Virgin Galactic is not the only corporation pursuing suborbital spacecraft for tourism. There have been a series of delays to the SS2 flight test vehicle becoming operational, amidst repeated assurances from Virgin Galactic marketing that operational flights were only a year or two out. Canceled Hermes Hopper. Search icon A magnifying glass. Boeing X tech dem. Albuquerque Journal. The carrier aircraft will now be a Boeingwhich will in turn allow a larger LauncherOne to carry heavier payloads than previously planned. Scaled Composites.
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For commercial spaceflight to successfully mature, we must meticulously seek out and mitigate Spaceship two richard branson virgin hazards, as a prerequisite to identifying and mitigating new hazards. Richard Branson Chairman George T. Window Seat. Both are capsule designs to bring crew to orbit, a different commercial market than that addressed by Virgin Galactic. The spacecraft's first powered test flight took place on 29 April Tdo from the original on 22 February I have been saying for some years now this was an accident waiting to happen. Retrieved 1 November El Paso Times. During a hearing in Washington D. Retrieved brqnson July
It was already known that Virgin Galactic was planning to send its first customers to space by June but, according to a document published by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Richard Branson's spaceflight company is planning to go one step further.
- SpaceShipTwo is carried to its launch altitude by a Scaled Composites White Knight Two , before being released to fly on into the upper atmosphere powered by its rocket engine.
- Virgin Galactic has ordered two White Knight Two vehicles.
- The subsequent inquiry by the National Transportation Safety Board NTSB concluded that the breakup was the result of the premature activation by Alsbury of the air brake device used for atmospheric re-entry.
- Virgin Galactic is a spaceflight company within the Virgin Group.
On Monday, 7 December, , a high-profile launch ceremony was held in Mojave, California, in relation to a projected commercial space tourism flights venture under the name Virgin Galactic. As the main focus of the proceedings Sir Richard Branson, billionaire head of the Virgin group, unveiled SpaceShipTwo - the rocket plane which he hopes will carry fare-paying passengers into space after some eighteen months of further testing and performance trials.
About 5 mins of weightlessness. At this altitude the curvature of the Earth is plainly visble and partakers of the Virgin Galactic space tourism flights will be able to view the Earth from suborbital space through the many portholes in SpaceShipTwo's cabin area. The craft's wings fold up 90 degrees and it becomes a glider, gently coasting back down to earth.
The altitude of , feet converts into 62 miles or kilometers above Earth's surface and represents what many consider to be the edge of space.
The X-prize winning conditions were achieved in October, , by the Burt Rutan designed SpaceShipOne which was crewed by a single pilot but which also carried the ballast equivalent of two passengers. In July, , Richard Banson joined forces with Burt Rutan's company, Scaled Composites, with the intention of building a fleet of commercial sub-orbital spaceships and launch aircraft.
WhiteKnightTwo was actually finished in , made its maiden flight in July of , and has already undergone several months of its own trials. SpaceShipTwo is designed to have a crew of two with additional room for six passengers. Introductory quotations.
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He is, as today's tragedy shows, a man driven by too much hubris, too much hucksterism and too little knowledge of the head-crackingly complex business of engineering. Virgin Galactic accepted the offer and established its global headquarters and spaceflight operations there. Archived from the original on 16 August Retrieved 14 August Mojave Desert , California , United States. Branson: I think it's just the ridiculous idea that you've built your own spaceship and you're going to space with your children. As development of the spacecraft proceeded, the company focused on locating a launch area.
Spaceship two richard branson virgin. Blue Origin teams with spaceflight veterans to complete its lunar lander
In November , The Spaceship Company had announced that it planned to build at least three additional White Knight Two aircraft and an additional five SpaceShipTwo rocket planes, the aircraft to be built by Virgin after the initial prototypes of each craft are built by Scaled Composites.
White Knight Two is roughly three times larger than White Knight in order to perform a captive flight with the larger SpaceShipTwo spacecraft. WK2 will provide preview flights offering several seconds of weightlessness before the suborbital event. This will allow tourists to practice before the real flight. White Knight Two is of twin fuselage design with four jet engines mounted two on each wing. The design is quite different from the White Knight, both in size, use of tail, engine configuration and placement of cockpit s.
Engine configuration is also very different. White Knight Two has four engines hung underneath the wings on pylons while White Knight's pair of engines are on either side of its single fuselage.
Virgin Galactic contracted aerospace designer Burt Rutan to build the mothership and spacecraft. On January 23, the White Knight Two design was revealed. Branson predicted that the maiden space voyage would take place in 18 months: "It represents An extensive flight test program of VMS Eve , with nearly twenty flights between December and August , was undertaken to validate the design and gradually expand the aircraft operating envelope.
Data from Virgin Galactic Presentation . From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Movaje Skies. Retrieved Pravda Online. Archived from the original on Virgin Galactic now has three timelines it is working with, but it doesn't want to put them out publicly because then they'll feel the pressure of meeting it -- instead, they're focused on safety and getting through all the necessary tests, regardless of how long it takes.
The second SpaceShip Two has been under construction for years now -- it was about 65 percent finished at the time of the crash. As noted by CollectSpace last month, Virgin Galactic added safeguards to prevent the premature release of the ship's tail booms, an issue cited as the primary cause for the first ship's crash.
The ship's co-pilot trigged the re-entry "feathering" system using those tail booms and the resistance caused the ship to break apart. That system has been adjusted to prevent such an error from taking place again.
There's now a computer control system on board that'll physically prevent the handle that triggers the feathering system from being moved unless conditions are safe to do so. Of course, this safety system needs extensive testing on its own, but Virgin Galactic says that it's being used in flight simulators now and will be installed on SpaceShip Two when it's ready.
The plans for this ship are for it to be the first Virgin Galactic ship that takes paid passengers to space, and the third and fourth ships are already under construction. Buyer's Guide. Log in. Sign up. Blue Origin teams with spaceflight veterans to complete its lunar lander. A star died violently and left behind this 'fluffy' ball. Latest in Science.
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Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic prepares to go public | Science | The Guardian
The only problem was the wind, which had chosen this day to break its usual routine. Out in the desert, mornings are typically calm, with winds building during the day. Anxious technicians watched windsocks scattered around the aerodrome, which dispiritingly refused to agree on where the wind was coming from or how fast it was going. SpaceShipTwo itself looks like a small, nattily-attired corporate jet with unusually elaborate wings.
Then, SpaceShipTwo is released to ignite its rocket engine, roar up into space and, after hanging at the peak of its flight path for a few minutes, glide back down to earth to land on a runway. That accident accelerated a reorganization that had begun in , when Virgin Galactic took complete control of the company manufacturing its airplanes and spacecraft. Previously it had been a joint venture with Scaled Composites.
Now, Virgin Galactic would handle all aspects of testing and development itself. Now, the newest incarnation of SpaceShipTwo is deep into its second attempt to be certified as safe for passengers. When will that happen? The wind eventually cooperates, dying down enough that the team can okay the test flight.
This will be the ninth time that Unity has flown into the sky underneath its carrier airplane, and the fifth time it has been released to glide back down to earth on its own. As the White Knight prepares to taxi down the runway, white Range Rovers drive ahead to scare away birds and spot any debris that might interfere with takeoff. The team tests the simplest tasks the craft can perform, making sure the measurements from some onboard sensors match their expectations, refining their predictive model about how the craft will behave under different conditions, then testing it again.
This continues until the craft has been tested to maximum performance. So far, executives say, the glide tests have been progressing as hoped for. A successful test of the feathered wing system a month before had given the design team confidence. Such high-energy action is still many months away at this point. The test on this day is fairly simple: Making sure that the craft will still be aerodynamically stable when its heavy rocket motor is installed and the center of gravity has moved backward.
To simulate this, the company has put in a special water tank weighing about 2, lbs 1, kg. The craft will maneuver with the full tank before dumping it and returning to land. Though it is gliding, the craft will go as fast as 0. A German-made stunt plane will follow closely behind, watching the process. A radio earpiece connects him to mission control as he describes the flight test.
The carrier climbs to 50, feet, far beyond the range of the naked eye, but as it moves to release Unity, it releases white contrails so it can be seen.
The spacecraft is at first a dot, plunging from the sky. And then a tiny puff of white appears next to the craft, prompting anxiety in the team on the ground. Later, we learn that the maneuver—one of 15 distinct steps in the 10 minutes or so of independent flight—had been a steep climb. During the climb, sensors found the forces on the plane exceeded the planned 2 gees, or twice the force of gravity, and the flight controllers told the pilots to quit.
The spaceship is designed to withstand up to 4 gees, Ericson says. The puff of white was a little bit of water burping from the back of the tank. The craft continues its glide above the airport, now clearly visible from the ground. At the appointed time, it dumps its load of water, spilling a white cloud into the sky. The Range Rovers rush out to greet it, one picking up the two grinning pilots and the other hooking up to the front of Unity, towing it away as easily if it were a rented trailer.
The test team immediately debriefs the pilots, and engineers will spend two to three weeks looking over the data gathered during the flight for anomalies. Unity has flown five times in the last seven months. The company will test this by doing a glide flight with propellant tanks installed but no combustion chamber; the tanks will rapidly dump propellant to partially simulate the effects of an engine burn.
Still, the Virgin team is already planning a mass exodus from its Mojave test center to the New Mexico spaceport that will host its commercial operation. The next step is actually transporting people from point to point. Virgin has the somewhat contradictory reputation of being an earth-focused space company: Suborbital flights could drastically speed up long journeys, if the economics works.
Such a business would need a new vehicle, but the lessons learned from developing SpaceShipTwo would help with that. Skip to navigation Skip to content. Mojave Air and Space Port, California The only problem was the wind, which had chosen this day to break its usual routine. Push the envelope. If you liked my story, you may enjoy Space Business, a weekly email on extra-terrestrial enterprise.
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